Stop Working Out, Start Training: What to Look For In a Training Program

Stop Working Out, Start Training: What to Look For In a Training Program

A goal without a plan is just a wish – and unfortunately, many people wish for results.

The difference between 'working out' and 'training' can be summarized with one word: intention. You know what you want and find a way to make it happen. You don't accept excuses. You maximize what is in your control.

Stop sacrificing your potential by being half-in and half-out. If you want to go from good to great, you need a plan. So, whether you've been at it for a few weeks or years, you can discover great results through your training.

The following tips will explain how to train more intentionally by finding a plan that avoids the common mistakes of many fitness programs.


First step: identify what you want to train for (the options are endless). Do you want to get stronger? Faster? Do you want to lose weight? Gain muscle? An effective training plan can help you achieve it... But not if you don't know what you want.

Many people jump from goal to goal, never truly committing to anything. They train for whatever looks coolest in the moment, and never stop to consider what excites them.

The first step of any training plan starts before you even step foot in the gym; it begins with you and the specific goal you have set. Know what you want and find a program to help you get there.


Once the goal is set, you need the roadmap to get there. Perhaps, the most essential component of a successful training program is its ability to meet the needs of the athlete.

Many people search for a program that will push them to work as hard as possible, which leads to high levels of fatigue and diminishing returns. Sometimes, we need to work harder – but more often, we need to work smarter. An effective balance of strategy and hard work paves the road from 'goal' to 'achievement.'

In your search for a great training plan, think through these three questions:

1. Does the program consider your current ability level?

For example, if you have the goal of a stronger squat, bench press, or deadlift, an effective training plan will program workouts based on percentages of your current one rep max. Similarly, for a speed or endurance goal, your training plan should consider your personal bests for a given distance.

2. Is your training supported by data?

You should be able to input and assess performance metrics from each workout and track data like sets, reps, miles, pacing splits, etc. This information will help you identify whether you are on track or just spinning your wheels.

3. Can you adapt the plan to meet your needs?

Great athletes understand that they must be able to adapt and change for the best results. Any program that you follow should allow for flexibility. You can decide what is best for you by adjusting your training schedule, autoregulation based on recovery demands, and learning more about yourself as an athlete.

Progress and personalization go hand in hand. Find a training plan that accounts for your characteristics as an athlete and discover the tremendous results of better programming.

Image of the BPN Training app.


You've heard the term before, but do you know how to train for progressive overload? Most of us don't, and whether you are pursuing a goal in strength, endurance, or both, this principle is crucial to improvement.

Progressive overload is a gradual increase in training volume to promote the stress needed for growth.

The key to this principle is the strategy behind it. It's not as simple as adding more weight to the bar or running an extra mile every day. Without a proper strategy, your body will eventually reject the added stress.

Intentional programming is pivotal for this reason – it answers questions of how to progress, when to push, and when to pull back. Programming with progressive overload in mind also ensures that you peak at the right time, so you can identify a goal, put a date on the calendar, and show up ready to perform to your full potential.

Here are some strategies that a great training program should use to promote progressive overload:

  • Increase intensity (ex., weight lifted and pace per mile speed)
  • Increase repetitions (ex., reps performed with a given weight and intervals ran at a given pace or distance)
  • Increase overall output (ex. total sets performed and miles ran on a daily to weekly basis)

If you want to continue making progress without the plateaus that are all-too common for so many athletes, finding a training plan that promotes progressive overload should be a key point of focus.

Nick Bare running and strength training.


An expert coach can be hard to find, mainly because many people claim to be one. Everyone is selling the program that you need to be successful. So, the question then becomes, how do you know who to trust?

A training program is only as good as the athlete doing it, sure, but it's also only as good as the coach who created it.

Don't fall into the trap of selecting something based on curb appeal alone – you should always ask; can I trust my coach? Here's how to know:

  • Are they experienced in coaching athletes of your experience level and with your goals?
  • Is there proven evidence of success?
  • Is the program being offered more about value for the athlete or sales for the coach?
  • Will they be open to changing their opinions and refining their approach over time?

As an athlete, you can't have all the answers. You need expert guidance that can only be achieved with the help of an experienced coach. When you search for a training program, be sure to research the person who created it.


Goals are good, but they are nothing without the right plan. We created the BPN Training app as a premium resource for passionate people like you to achieve their greatest goals.

A great training plan is personalized, with a strategic approach to development, programmed by expert coaches. Now, we know what you're thinking, how much could this all cost?

Nothing - it's free.

The BPN Training app is intentional training by expert coaches and unlimited access to all-in-one programming at no cost to you. Your search for effective programming is over. Download the app and start training today.


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